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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 19, 2009 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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if i had only known. what are you doing here? >> i think if i thump loudly on the wall next to me we might be able to do this in a more seamless way. thanks, keith. it is be careful what you wish for night. the republican party thought that congressman grayson's die quickly speech was a gift but things aren't working out that way for them either. local officials spring to the defense of a besieged republican senator in south carolina. they spring to his defense by arguing that the senator is very jew like in some ways. there was a big fat political practical joke played at the national press club today. we've got the tape of that. it is all ahead. we begin with high stakes negotiations in the building over my shoulder. the u.s. capitol back there.
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a small, exclusive team of negotiators gathered behind closed doors attempting to hammer out the senate version of the biggest change in american domestic policy since at least the beatles. maybe even since the days of shirley temple and cole porter. democrats in the white house have to make two senate bills into one which then needs to pass the senate which then needs to be brought to terms with what passes the house. they've still got a ways to go in other words. but negotiations now are about what exactly democrats want reform to be like. the opposition to health reform appears to have gone mostly silent. or at least mostly wildly off message. take senator john kyl of arizona who this weekend answered a question about americans not having health insurance by saying this. >> i'm not sure it's a fact more and more people die because they don't have health insurance but because they don't have health insurance the care is not delivered in the best and most efficient way. >> actually it is a fact that people die because of a lack of health insurance.
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just last month harvard medical school researchers published a landmark study of the correlation between not having insurance and dying. if you control for factors like education and income and obesity and drinking and smoking what makes the difference in death rates among americans? health insurance. you're 40% more likely to die if you do not have health insurance all other things being equal. statistically speaking blame 45,000 deaths a year in america on people not having health insurance. >> i'm not sure it's a fact that more and more people die because they don't have health insurance. >> senator kyl, grounds out to short stop. now, the chairman of the republican party michael steele then said in an interview with univision, quote, i don't think we need a comprehensive overhaul of our health care system. nothing was lost in translation there. mr. steele was speaking english. his answers were translated into spanish and his words verbatim were i don't think we need a
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comprehensive overhaul of our health care system. for all the myriad messages republicans have tried against health reform this year there's a reason they haven't gone with everything's fine leave health care alone. mr. steele strikes out swinging. as the republican opposition to health reform falters the other factor to consider is what's happening outside the republican party in the conservative movement and in the conservative movement media. you may recall the antihealth reform activist doctor who mass e-mailed this horrendous image of president obama as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. also somehow a communist witch doctor with the hammer and sickle. the activist who e-mailed that image was a florida doctor named david mccalep. after talking points memo publicized this he publicly apologized and said at the time he was going to withdraw from the debate over health care reform. he is now back. he's now back on the fox news channel being cited by them as
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an expert on health reform. >> americans can stop this. they need to call congress and go to places like doctors for patient, go to freedom if hundreds of thousands of people call their senators in their own district this government takeover of medicine will stop. >> the republican party chairman says health care is fine the way it is. senator jon kyl of arizona says health insurance is frankly just over rated. and the fox news channel is hosting expert commentary on health reform from the president has a bone through his nose racist witch doctor e-mail guy. groundout, strikeout, knock yourself out. if this is the opposition, the chances for health reform have from this vantage point at least never looked better. joining us now is democratic senator brown of ohio a member of the senate health, education, labor, and pensions committee. thanks for coming in here. >> nice to be here. >> you can tell from my introduction that i believe the opposition to health reform looks weak right now. "roll call" today says the
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republican strategy against reform is delay, define, and derail. how confident are you that a bill passes, a strong bill? >> that's what it's been all along. it started with, you know, all of the charges of euthanasia and the things, killing granny and all that. that clearly back fired. by late august or early september i had my first big town hall meeting. i went to the most republican conservative part of ohio in cincinnati and even then i could see things begin to change. 2/3 of the audience of 1500 were supportive of the bill. you could just see one thing after another, what senator kyl said, what chairman steele said as you point out, that's just been from the negotiations on, how do we slow it down? how do we stop it? it really is the party of no and has been. it's just more evident now because it's getting more and more desperate as the bill gets closer. we'll have a good health care bill by december to the president's desk. it's going to have a strong public option and i feel more certain of that than other times on the show. when i thought it all along.
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i think it more, i believe it more strongly now. that's what's going to happen. >> the white house says that the public option is the president's preference but that it shouldn't be -- the public option is a means to an end, to get a lot of people covered and control costs but you can do that other ways too. they won't insist on a public option. >> nothing works better than a public option in terms of keeping the insurance industry honest, in terms of covering people and providing alternative competition if you will and particularly in under served areas and getting costs down. nothing fills that function like a public option. i don't think the public option is the most important thing in the world in this bill. there are lots of other things that really matter but 90% of the democrats in the house and senate are for the public option. 70% of doctors according to robert wood johnson foundation study of three weeks ago are for the public option. 2-1 -- thirds of the public consistently all summer and fall have been for the public option. it's going to be part of the
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bill because the, as i said, the overwhelming number of democrats in the senate and the house want a strong public option that really will keep the insurance industry honest. >> as we figure out the path between now to december all of the legislative action on health care reform right now is happening really among democrats. i mean, all of the examples i cited were republicans talking on television shows because they're not really necessarily right there dealing with the negotiations right now. are you comfortable with how the process is going and what commitments have been made by leadership in terms of what their bottom lines are? >> i think leadership will come up with a good bill to put on the senate floor. i think we'll pass a bill with the public option. i think the house will pass a stronger bill. conference committee will get a good solid bill with public option and do all the things we care about. it will have insurance reform, universal coverage, some kind of employer mandate so everybody's covered. we will see, i look at it this way, rachel. as this goes through, you know, i look back at the days of medicare when people were -- a lot of people voted against
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medicare, realized they were on the wrong side of history later because they voted against it. you know, i think more and more people are going to see this makes sense. democrats and republicans alike, that are not quite as sure about the bills you and i are that this in fact will matter for -- that a year from now, five years from now this will look increasingly good to the public. >> i know we'll hear a lot from republicans because they telegraph their strategy about medicare cuts. there are going to be tax increases, premium increases, and seniors are going to pay. there will be medicare cuts. i talked to my 94-year-old grandmother this weekend about what she's thinking about health care reform right now. she's been enjoying the benefits of medicare including hospice care right now. as a very smart, strong, connected woman, she's afraid from what she's heard that her medicare is going to be cut. what would you say to her? what do you stye seniors who are afraid regardless of the facts of the bill? >> i start with the people that are saying they're going to be medicare cuts and want to act
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like defenders of medicare are the same group of people, conservative republicans, that have tried to privatize medicare in the gingrich days and ever since and frankly that never supported medicare, that group of people, that conservative wing, far right wing of the republican party never supported it in the 1960s to begin with. second, the only real cuts are going to be those overpayments to the insurance industry that the republicans have been shoveling more money to insurance to privatized form of medicare to hmos ever since the early part of the bush years. they kept increasing subsidies to insurance companies and at the same time taking away from medicare fee for service. we're not going to continue to subsidize the insurance industry. the insurance industry is clearly over reached and in the last ten years within the entire medicare system let alone the rest of private insurance and the rest of our health care system and i think we're going to see that our party will never cut medicare.
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we're the ones that supported it. most of us want, in this bill, a medicare look alike in the public option. that's obviously, that does underscore our commitment to medicare and that kind of government delivered health insurance. >> senator brown, democrat of ohio, great to see you in person. my pleasure. thanks. >> senator brown is a member of the senate health, and pensions committee. >> the republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick. >> when congressman grayson said that on the floor of the house, common wisdom in the beltway was that his career would take an immediate and long walk off a very short pier. turns out the reports have been greatly exaggerated. he joins us here, next. r. i love the taste. hmmm. hmmm. smooth. rich. fabulous. is it "hmmm?" hmmm. (announcer) taste why maxwell house is good to the last drop.
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♪ ♪ i got troubles, oh ♪ but not today ♪ 'cause they're gonna wash away ♪ ♪ this old heart ♪ gonna take them away [ quacks ] one of the weirder things that happened to me happened on friday when out of the blue the first president bush, george h.w. bush, volunteered to cbs radio in his opinion keith
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olbermann and i were both, and i quote, sick puppies. very strange way to end the week. that said, president bush was not alone last week in singling out this network to try to make a rather unclear political point. on friday, liz cheney's pressure group, keep america safe, also launched a web ad showing clips of her organization receiving critical coverage on msnbc and they were interspersed with provocative questions like these -- why don't they want to talk substance? why are they panicked? why don't they want to debate the issues? what are they so afraid of? okay. for the record, one of the primetime msnbc shows that has broadcast some critical coverage of ms. cheney's pressure group is this one that you're watching right now. and our booking producers have been calling liz cheney and asking her to come on this show and discuss her ideas, debate the issues for months. we have called her many, many, many times, including twice on friday. so far she has declined every
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single invitation that we have extended. i understand, a lot of people say no to being on this show, but not a lot of them do so while claiming msnbc is afraid to debate them. be not afraid, ms. cheney. i promise i will not bite. eded more customers, so i got my nephew to build a website. i hired someone to make my website... five months ago. we are building a website by ourselves. woman: there's an easier way. create your own small business site with intuit websites. just choose a style that fits your business,
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this is congressman allen grayson, who is famous recently for this. >> you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this, die quickly. >> congressman allen grayson said that on the house floor on september 29th and immediately got everyone inside the beltway very upset because even though republicans say stuff like that
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all the time about issues like health care, democrats just don't. don't believe me? >> last week democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to america's seniors, drop dead. >> they're going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long line, places like canada, united kingdom and europe, people die when they're in line. >> one in five people had to die because they went to socialized medicine. >> when congressman allen grayson said on the house floor that the opposition party's health policy was for people to die quickly, no one would have batted an eye had he been a republican, because republicans say stuff like that all the time. democrats don't. so beltway common wisdom therefore rose up and declared that congressman grayson's die quickly comments would cost him his seat, that republicans had a bull's eye on him anyway and
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this would make him that much softer a target in the next election. don't believe everything you read. since congressman grayson's die quickly remarks, the republican mayor of orange, florida, decided not to run against mr. grayson. the republican speaker of the florida house decided not to run against him. a former republican state senator named dan webster decided not to run against him. a local republican businessman named jerry pierce decided not to run against him. the orlando sentinel reported friday the republicans might have found someone to run against him. mr. grayson's district is here in central florida. you can see it on the map. florida republicans think they found a 28-year-old from here in coral gables who is 'willing to move across the state to try to run against mr. grayson. there we are coral gables. cheers. in late-breaking news we found out a republican candidate in florida's 24th district may instead be seeking the nomination in grayson's nearby district. so soft target, right? sure going to lose his seat for that outburst, right?
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when it comes to beltway common wisdom as a great philosopher always said don't always believe the hype. joining us now is the aforementioned, underestimated democratic congressman from florida. >> yes, they underestimated me again. >> you now have somebody moving from another district, well, two candidates possibly moving from another district. >> they've decided they're in and three others. we polled. we already polled and found out people with fake names have better name recognition than people already in the race against me. >> you ran like -- you made up names? >> we made up names, put them in the poll and the fake names did better than the current opponents. >> i know that two of the people who are going to run against you are tea party activists. >> that's right. >> patricia sullivan. and dan fennelly. i'm helping them out with name recognition. >> now four people know them instead of two. >> they're coming out of a movement that sees itself as quite separate from the organized republican party but they think they can rouse some populist interest.
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>> the list is now a who's that of florida politics. there's no one in the race known at all. i'm worried about the national party. the national republican party spent over $2 million to keep me out of office last time, and now according to the nrcc's executive director i'm the number one target. you know why. i can only imagine how many 30 pieces of silver they'll throw this time at the race. >> they're desperate to knock you off because of the district. and they think that you becoming famous for those comments on the house floor make you an easier target. but they can't find anybody. they can only find a whole team of people to run against you. this is the question. why is there no native challenger? >> because the people like a congressman with guts, someone who says it like it is, particularly a democrat who says it like it is. a democrat with guts, people people think of it as a myth logical creature like a unicorn.
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we're talking about lives and huge amounts of money. nobody cares about bipartisanship. they want somebody who knows what's at stake and cares about what's on their minds. it's on my mind as well. >> my sense is you think being outspoken and aggressive is not just a good strategy for you and your own district, but you think that democrats broadly need to be pulling out the stops a little more. >> absolutely. look, 4-1 people have favored what i said. in the e-mails and letters we've received, over 10,000 people have come to grayson for and made contributions in the last three weeks. we're doing a money bomb november 2nd at people are already piling in. it shows people want someone to stand up and call it like it is. >> on health reform, let me ask you how you feel about the two sides. at the top of the show, senator jon kyl, republican saying he doesn't believe death rates are higher for people who doesn't
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-- don't have health insurance. the chair of the republican party says we don't need health reform. how do you see the two sides right now? >> i think the democrats have been fooled now for months by this fantasy of bipartisanship. that's a concept that's become a weapon of mass distraction to keep us from actually doing what we need to do, to give people in this country universal health care, give them affordable health care and comprehensive health care because a lot of people find they get all the health care they need as long as they don't need any. that's not what america is entitled to and not the kind of america most people want to see. instead we get bogged down in nuisances. i don't remember hearing a lot of bipartisanship when we talked about tax breaks for the rich. >> do you think democrats are starting to rise to the occasion on health reform, fighting more appeasing less? >> i think so. since i pointed out a harvard study shows 44,789 americans die every year because they don't have health care coverage now people in washington understand what's at stake. that's life and death.
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the cost of delay now people understand is death and death of many, many americans. more americans die every month than died on 9/11. but that was just had once. this is month after month. that's why i say it's so important we move it along. >> strategically you feel like democrats have made the pivot, and stopped working towards bipartisanship as an end rather than as a means and started pushing on what we want. >> i think we're making the pivot. we're making the moral argument for what we want. for too long we were bogged down in the idea of just simply making it more affordable when in fact what we're talking about is life or death. that's the case the democrats haven't made until now. now i'm seeing it made. also i think we exposed that the republicans have nothing. the point of my presentation is that they have no plan. and now they've had two weeks to come up with something that would actually save these people's lives and they've got nothing. now for a change they're on the defensive. >> congressman alan grayson, democrat of florida, says something that that want -- wasn't taken before you took
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it. good point. >> nice to see you. >> my pleasure. okay. four republican members of congress have demanded an investigation into whether or not interns on capitol hill have committed the grave crime of being interns on capitol hill while also being muslims. this story has gone from gross to inadvertently funny to, oh, i think they're starting to regret this in a very short number of days. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 i don't really need much more than that right now. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 well we're going to be living on this money pretty soon. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 there's no time to make mistakes, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at this point we need all the help we can get. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 i've got investments all over, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 so i just need some reassurance, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 ya know, that i'm doing the right thing. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 to use new crest extra white plus scope outlast. [ female announcer ] new crest extra white plus scope outlast for a whiter smile and a fresh breath feeling that lasts up to five times longer.
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last week, four republican members of congress held a press
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conference demanding that the house sergeant at arms investigate c.a.r.e., the council on islamic relations. they said they wanted the investigation because they said c.a.r.e. had hatched a secret plot to try to place interns on capitol hill, muslim interns. >> and its co-authors investigating team have unearthed a 2007 memo written by c.a.r.e. which documents their stated intentions and goals to place interns in congressional offices. >> the book which she referred to, "muslim mafia" is one of a series of books i would encourage americans to read. >> i did write the forward for the book. >> i did write the forward to the book. the being an intern while being muslim accusations come from a new book that is published by worldnette daily. it's the website best known for conspiracy theories for things like health care reform and things like the obama administration secretly planning
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to round up conservatives to put them in concentration camps. if this were just about world net daily pushing another conspiracy theory, this one that muslims were trying to take over washington starting with the intern jobs, that would be a dog bites man story about the conservative movement and its fringes in the age of obama. but this is four sitting members of congress pushing this idea. joining us now is the fellow for christian muslim understanding at the institute for global engagement, a former senior political appointee in the administration of george w. bush. >> thanks for having me, rachel. >> as i said, if this were just world net daily we wouldn't be covering this story but it's four serving members of congress. and i understand that you think these allegations are not only concerning but that you've seen this before. >> unfortunately we have. it's disgusting, it's sad and we have particularly after 9/11 these same professional bigots as i call them have gone after
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other muslim americans serving their government. in the past it was the bush administration when i was serving and now they're going after muslim staffers starting with interns. if you know how to make coffee and answer the phone the next thing you know they're taking over the world. >> who are the professional bigots that you mean? >> well, there's the authors of this book. they've been joined by others on the internet and it's really insidious because not only do they go after innocent americans that want to serve their country but they're making money off it. they duped these members of congress, pushed them out in traffic on these charges completely baseless really to sell books. that's what it is. it's about fear mongering and money. it was interesting they had the press conference a couple of days before the book release. if this is really about national security, you go to the authorities and say you've got to stop something and stop it now. this is about going to the media and trying to sell books. it's really sad. >> that was one of the important details today followed up by talking points memo reported that these four members of congress, after they made the demand that the sergeant at arms investigate cair for the
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interns, these four members of congress didn't actually make the request to investigate, which implies that they're more motivated by the pr effect than any real, perceived harm. >> that's right. it's sad and has a real effect. not only has it scared members of congress and chiefs of staff to hire muslim americans who otherwise would be great and loyal americans serving their office and their country but even those working there now are called in sometimes by their chief of staff. i know one instance where it happened. and questioned, hey, is any of this true, is there any truth to it? worse, if you're a kid out in peoria or california, my home state, thinking about going into public service, you might say, hey, maybe i'll stay home and stay here and work locally in the private sector because maybe serving my country isn't what i should be doing right now, because who needs this kind of scrutiny. it's really disgusting. the good news is it's only four members of congress. you haven't seen the republican
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leader or mr. mcconnell of the senate joining these guys. it's really they've been duped by these professional racists. i think if we can work with them, i plan to work with them and educate them. >> that's a generous take. toward these four members of congress. i mean, sue myrick wrote the forward to this book. it seems to me it is important for republican politics and conservative politics and american politics broadly speaking that there be someone in leadership who is willing to call out stuff like this, either to discipline or bring back onto the reservation these four members of congress who have gone this way. do they not bear some responsibility, though, for having followed this path thus far and for having given this scare mongering press conference? >> they do. they bear responsibility. we've seen this before, whether it was jewish americans at the turn of the century italian american catholics. we saw the hate during the 1960 election with president kennedy. unfortunately at different times in history some, a very select
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fear have tried to raise a specter of fear about different americans whether they be mormons, comcast, jewish americans and now after 9/11 muslim americans. so now i think -- you saw even in the last election when there were issues raised about mitt romney and barack obama and his faith. it took a hero like colin powell, if you recall, to stand up and say, this has got to stop. we're all americans here and we need to stand had together as americans. >> fellow at the institute for global engagement, a former senior political appointee in the george w. bush administration. i don't have anything to do with this. but as an american, i'm sorry. >> thank you. >> thanks. if you know the name congressman steve buier it may be from the time he said smoking cigarettes could sort of be like smoking lettuce or the time he said health reform was a threat to american veterans. now there's a new way to remember his name. he now admits after denying it initially that he spent quite a bit of $800,000 intended to be
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scholarship money for kids who can't afford college playing golf in exotic locations. but he swears he did not enjoy the golf. i'm not kidding. more next. first one more thing. a democrat ek state senator recently criticized republican senator jim demint for not bringing enough federal money home to south carolina. two county level republican party chairmen from his home state came to mr. demint's defense. the bamberg county gop chairman and the orange county chairman wrote in the times and democrat newspaper saying, and i quote, there is a saying that the jews who are wealthy got that way not by watching dollars but instead taking care of the pennies and the dollars taking care of themselves. by not using earmarks to fund projects for south carolina senator demint is watching our nation's pennies. in other words just like a jew!
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i don't know how this particular argument is going to go over with south carolina voters but, well, yeah. actually i think i just have to leave that one where it is. just leave it.
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there are pranks, there are really big pranks, and then there are pranks used as political tactics. today one of those was pulled on the united states chamber of commerce. it was a doozy. we have the tape of the fake press conference and will talk to a reporter who was there and saw it go down. first a couple of holy mackerel stories. this is indiana republican congressman steve booier already famous on this show for claiming health reform is a secret plot to hurt veterans and that smoking tobacco is a lot like smoking lettuce. the congressman is once again under public scrutiny thanks to something called the frontier foundation. a scholarship that shares an address with the congressman's political action committee which had his daughter as president and finance director as secretary treasurer and sent out letters from his office and which in six years of existence has yet to actually give out a
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single scholarship. out of the $880,000 it raised, much from corporations and organizations with business before the congressional committees on which congressman buyer serves only $10,000 has been spent in grants. nearly half went to a charity run by a powerful washington lobbyist who now says he'll return the money. it's also donated to the national rifle foundation association. a week after his press spokesmen said it's not congressman buyer's foundation, congressman buyer is admitting it is his foundation and says the media scrutiny is, quote, vicious and ugly. the foundation has raised lots of funds, which means lots of golfing and fund-raising trips for the congressman. as for those, he says those were, quote, not fun for me. i'm sure that as long as it wasn't fun for the congressman, the kids who didn't get the promised scholarships won't mind at all. next up, two summers ago, an
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air force crew in minot, north dakota, accidentally loaded six live nuclear warheads onto a b-52 and flew them to another base in louisiana. six live nuclear missiles totally unaccounted for until hours after the plane landed when someone on the ground at the base in louisiana said, hey, now, wait a minute, those are live nuclear weapons mounted on that plane out there, i don't think we're supposed to have those. in the ensuing fury lots of air force officers were relieved of command by the defense secretary bob gates up to and including the secretary of the air force and the air force chief of staff. still, after that, the good folks safeguarding our nuclear missiles as minot, north dakota failed their first nuclear surety inspection the following december. then they failed the one after that as well. something about guards playing video games on their cell phones when they were supposed to be watching the nuclear missiles. then last july, a truck at minot carrying the rocket booster ran
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off a gravel road and crashed. price of the clean-up $5.6 million. then in august, they lost another truck carrying intercontinental missile parts and liquid rocket fuel. this time they blamed a, quote, large insect that flew into the driver's open window and landed on the driver's back. apparently the driver was so freaked out by the large insect on his back that while he was trying to swat at it he drove his rig and its intercontinental ballistic missile parts and liquid rocket fuel right off the road. the good airmen of north dakota have been like the keystone cops except they're in charge of safekeeping america's live nuclear arsenal. the head of the 91st missile wing and missile maintenance squadron commander were all fired and replaced last week. the new commander telling local reporters his plan was to, quote, get back to basics. the basics like not accidentally flying nuclear weapons around the country and losing trucks
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full of missile parts to attacks by mothra, you know, the basics. and finally, a quote falsely attributed to talk show host rush limbaugh. recently it resurfaced during the debate over whether or not he would or should be part of a group bidding to buy the st. louis rams football team. on june 3 thd as i was reporting on opposition to the supreme court nominee sonia sotomayor. i was among the people who erroneously referred to the quote as if mr. limbaugh had said it. to set the record straight, rush limbaugh apparently never said that martin luther king jr.'s assassin should receive the medal of honor and i was in error when i reported that we had. while we set the record straight, here is some of rush limbaugh's verifiable record on matters of race, just for had context. barack obama's picked up another endorsement, halfrican american
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halle berry. we're told we have to hope he succeeds. we have to bend over, grab the ankles because his father was black. >> so let the record now corrected speak for itself. we'll be right back. okay, time's up. here ya' go ! that's a nice one, i made that. that's a piece of junk. yeah. i want the red truck. well, you can't have the red truck. see, that was a limited-time offer only. it's, ah, right here in the fine print. even kids know it's wrong to hide behind fine print. why don't banks ? we're ally, a new bank who always gives you a great rate, with nothing burieine print. it's just the right thing to do. uh... yeah? you gonna ask him this time? about what? our erectile dysfunction. don't want to talk about it. look, you're not alone, millions of men with ed have talked to their doctors.
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this is a fraudulent press conference, okay? he's misrepresenting the u.s. chamber of commerce. >> today the country's largest business lobby the chamber of commerce got punked. it began early this morning when a press release went out purportedly from the united states chamber of commerce that said that the chamber was taking a very dramatic step. they would be switching positions on climate change legislation. amazingly the release said that the chamber would now support this legislation that it spent months fighting against. reporters were surprised and probably confused at this odd turn of events, but that was nothing compared to what actually happened at the press conference when it was held later on this morning. watch this tape. >> clean coal is a technology that has not only not been proven. it basically doesn't exist. >> okay. this is -- i'm with the u.s. chamber of commerce. this is not an official u.s. chamber of commerce event, so i
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don't know what pretenses you're here. i know some of you in the press world, but this is a fraudulent press activity and a stunt. >> who are you really sir? >> and do you have a business card? are you with the u.s. chamber? >> i do. we can discuss afterwards. >> okay. can i see your business card? >> can i see yours? if you would like to have a press conference, you can have your own press conference, sir. >> what is your position in. >> you can't come in here and barge in and interrupt our press conference. >> what is your position at the chamber of commerce? >> i just spoke my position. >> what is your title, your official title -- >> the assistant to mr. donohue. >> okay. this guy is a fraud. he's lying. this is, you know, a stunt that i've never seen before. so if you'd like to actually talk to the legitimate chamber of commerce i have my business cards outside. this gentleman i will assure you does not have business cards and he's not legitimate. >> i'm sorry, sir. we rented this room.
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you have to refund us. >> fraudulently fraudulently. under fraud. it's illegal. anyone else want my business card? come on outside. >> do you support climate legislation? >> who are you? >> kate. >> with -- >> mother jones. >> that is how you punk the chamber of commerce. the fake chamber of commerce guy at the beginning was one of the famous anti-corporate men known as the yes men. the guy really mad at the end was not. joining us now is the woman you saw at the end of the video, a real reporter for "mother jones." kate, thanks for coming on the show. >> thanks for having me. >> at the end he demanded to know who you were because he thought you were part of the host. >> it was a little questionable, the folks setting up the hoax invited a number of actors to come in and sit in as reporters but there were also a number of reporters there who thought it was a real press conference. up until the point he walked in and started yelling thought this was a change on the part of the chamber. >> which of those camps were
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you? did you know it was a hoax? did you figure it out? did you believe the initial press release? >> i received the press release this morning at 9:30 a.m. i thought it was real for a half hour until luckily someone tipped me off. one of my sources let me know, let me in on the fact. but went over to check it out and see what would happen. i didn't know it was the yes men until i arrived and found a yes man at the podium. just thought it was a regular old band of activists but came in to find one of the infamous yes men at the helm. >> the fake chamber of commerce guy, the yes man guy gets in front of the room and some reporters around you think it's legitimate and the chamber of commerce is completely changing its point of view on the climate change. some on climate change and some people are in on the joke. >> it seemed that way, yes. >> how did the press corps react when the real angry pencil behind the ear spokesmen came in
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and confronted the fake guy? >> there were a number of people who seemed utterly confused. they were asking which is the real chamber? have they really changed? who is this guy running in? which one do we believe? the actual recpresentative had his business cards available. >> he was very big on having the business cards prove his authenticity. as we you saw, it is pretty easy to mimic someone's official seal. >> exactly. during your cameo appearance in the video, the real chamber of commerce spokesman gets confrontational you with you. the question you asked you was, does this mean you're not changing your position? >> i actually hadn't asked a question yet. i had dwelt this individual before so i knew him to be an actual representative of the chamber of commerce. but we've had, they've been reporteding about a lot of the chaos surrounding the chamber of late with businesses leaving the
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group in protests of the climate policy. so they have not been particularly big fans of our work on that issue. >> it has been a rough few weeks for the chamber. i mean, they are a membership based organization. the businesses belong to the claim better. that's what gives them their power. and their membership organization, the organization that's are members of them have been leaving specifically on the climate change issue. from your reporting, you are you able to tell if that's becoming a crisis for the chamber? >> it's clear that it is becoming a p.r. crisis for them. they don't really know how to handle it. in the past few weeks, several large utilities have left pg&e, nike left the board and an sl leaving. so it has really been a lot of high level businesses leaving the group. on top of that, last week my colleague reported that the chamber has been inflating their numbers for years, saying they have 3 million members when in fact the real number is 200,000
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to 300,000. so overnight, their numbers dropped by 90%. so they've just been, they've issued all kinds of press releases in the last week. they've really been trying to clarify their position on climate change you but it has been really hard for them as they see a number of big name businesses leaving the group. >> and i will say, in terms of their tactics, the spokesman knew enough to not answer the direct question or say, listen, we want to make it clear that we are still totally against the climate change legislation and we totally believe in clean coal. the idea of the yes man style prank is that corporations or whoever the villain is, whoever the victim is, is forced to define an unpopular stance in opposition to the pranksters and they knew this guy you knew enough to not do that. a hoax is a hoax. >> he knew enough not to say, trust me. the chamber really doesn't want to do anything about climate. that's the hard spot they've
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been in. they've been saying all along they don't believe in the climate legislation that has circulated on the hill. but you now they're trying to say that they could believe in climate legislation passing and that it is a good thing you but just not anything they've ever seen. >> not anything that's real. >> at the same time they've been denying climate change is happening. in others. >> reporter for mother jones. nice to sigh. lost among the health care fight, even if the bill includes a public option, nine out of ten americans probably won't be allowed to use it. senator ronwiden joins us to talk about that. and the creative hoax that was balloon boy spawns even more creativity on the nefarious internets. grandma, take me there. but with my occasional irregularity i wasn't always up to it. until i discovered activia and everything started to change. announcer: activia is clinically proven to help regulate
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we turn now to our inspirational aeronautics correspondent kent jones. >> the saga of falcon not actually in the balloon balloon boy, may have been a fail for the truth but a bonus for song writers and video makers who spent the weekend turning his airborneless nonadventure into art. check it out. did you find falcon's story to be a high energy romp? let's start with this perky track which will float aimlessly in your head all day. promise. ♪ balloon boy we finally found you balloon boy we're glad you're okay balloon boy it might be a hoax but the world seems to love you anyway ♪ >> and some snarky new lyrics here. ♪ floating in the denver sky
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we're all watching is he hurt he's strapped in there we're pretty sure ♪ >> or was it the "wizard of oz" for our times? here is a song called "the attic" which would have to be the citizen kane of balloon boy videos. ♪ my name is falcon and i got a great family my family we chased our neighbors and we built a ufo ♪ out of tin foil out of tin foil the dream was to fly into ♪ it's time to go up on a ride from the moment i knew there was no turning back again ♪ ♪ so i'll fly >> okay. this didn't happen too long ago. who had that much time to put that together? >> i don't know. they got some 40-hour days or something to work on those. amazing. all of those. >> unbelievable. >> well done. >> i'm so happy it wasn't just
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tape and tape and tape of the barfing. that was the part i focused on. >> i know that. you might want to let that go now. >> i know. >> well done to all the videographers there. >> seriously. balloon boy will always be about barfing to me. i have a quick and very happy and unsnarky and uncynical moment for you, kent. >> very nice. >> a "newsweek" reporter has been in jail in iran for nearly four months. we hosted his wife, his pregnant wife on the show a couple months ago talking about his detention. he has been released on bail. >> excellent. >> in time for the birth of his first child. and it's great news. almost four months in iran. he was allowed to post bail. it's great news so congratulations to congratulations to him. we'll see you again tomorrow night.


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